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Electric front wheel drive question

I was going to take the front drive shaft off the Toyota and replace it with an electric motor and a few batteries.

To use gas, I would turn on the engine and use the rear wheels. To save gas & use electricity, I turn the key on, put it in neutral, and use a golf cart pedal…

But now I am stuck on the details …

Should I do this, or is there

REALLY a lot of oil in South Dakota that we will tap into soon ???

You need to start from scratch and do your own inventing. No sensible person has ever done this before. When you succeed, I hope you tell us how you did it.

What kind of Toyota? Truck? Car? 4WD with rear wheels primary or front wheels primary? or AWD?

Power steering and power brakes aren’t going to work on electric. The transmission isn’t going to like being driven around in neutral on electric, that means it’s being operated with no lubrication since its oil pump is driven by the engine. Where are you planning on putting the “few” batteries? And those batteries, along with the electric motor are gonna be a little heavy.

The trouble with this is that you’re not going to be able to haul the truck around with the gas engine and everything for any meaningful distance in electric mode. Hybrid cars, which have much more advanced batteries than I’m betting you’re planning to use for your project, can only move themselves maybe a mile or two tops before the gas engine has to come on and recharge the battery. If you filled up the bed of your pickup with expensive high-tech batteries this might work, but the vehicle would be so heavy it would get lousy gas mileage and lousy distance-per-charge. Dedicated electric cars have to be VERY spartan, weight-wise and a four-wheel drive Toyota truck (I’m assuming this is what you’re talking about) is a pretty darn heavy vehicle.

It would be much easier to drill your own oil well and build a mini-refinery in the back yard.

I won’t even get into things such as current draw, size of the motor, number of batteries, etc. but it would definitely require more than a few.

A lifelong friend of mine had an older brother many years ago (back in the late 60s) who was in business with 2 other guys trying to work the bugs out of an electric car. They were investing their own money in this professional venture (no gov. grants, investor schemes, etc.) and even built several prototype cars that actually ran but they were up against the problem of trying to generate more energy than was being consumed.

Unfortunately, both the older brother and another business partner were killed by electricity one weekend and since the older brother was the driving force behind this venture it all came to an end.
(Standing too close to a large tree in a National Park in NM one weekend and a lightning bolt did these 2 guys and another person in.)

Been watching those spots where we say that there is enough oil for 60 years!!! What they don’t say is that they will sell it to any country that will pay the mot for it. Almost all the Alaska oil goes to other countries. So will the oil from South Dakota.

Hi Curtiss,

Interesting…I had this same idea the other day! It 's the way to create a plug-in hybrid from an existing vehicle.

There are companies that make components for converting a vehicle to electric. See These guys get 50+ miles on a charge. It just depends on how many batteries you want to use.

As one of the postings above said, it would be necessary to leave the engine running in order to power the brakes and power steering, and to keep the trans lubricated. But this would still save a lot of gasoline. A quick internet search seems to indicate that an automotive engine will consume about 0.2-0.5 gal/hr at idle. Maybe an auxiliary electric motor could be used to drive a vacuum pump for the brakes (do automotive diesels have something like that?) and the power steering pump. Of course, there’s always the air cond compressor and the need for heat in the winter, too, so maybe leaving the engine running is the best option.

Let us know if you come up with a design or find a shop to do the conversion.


“But now I am stuck on the details …”

I can understand your dilemma here. The auto industry has had some of the best auto engineers in the country working on this kind of thing also. You may find that building an electric car isn’t as easy or inexpensive as it would first seem to be.